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  • Megann Horstead

Santa’s Workshop spreads joy, cheer


The spirit of the holiday season was spread at Millennium Elementary School’s annual Santa’s Workshop Saturday, Dec. 9.

From crafts and face painting to baked goods and balloons, the merriment was well-rounded for the dozens of families who visited the Tinley Park school.

“It’s just a fun day for families to come out,” said Julie Wurster, president of Millennium Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization.

This time around, the craft vendor fair featured 37 slots, with each offering different holiday items for people to peruse.

The booths featured everything from jewelry and holiday wreaths to dips and canned jams. The craft vendor fair gave parents a chance to start their holiday shopping for friends and family.

Children enjoyed going shopping on their own for special, low-cost items they can give to friends, while volunteers helped wrap their purchases to satisfy this aim.

“The kids love the little shopping area, and the kids can shop for their sisters, their brothers, their moms, and their dads,” Wurster said.

Tommy Laird, 8, a Millenium student, made a purchase for his mother, Laura, after searching the stock, but wanted to keep his purchase a secret.

Laura was waiting alongside her sons, Tommy and Danny, for the raffle winners to be announced.

“We like to come check out the vendors, do the raffle, see Santa, and the balloon artist,” she said. “It’s a nice family thing to stop at each year.”

Taking a vacation from the North Pole, Santa Claus dropped in for pictures and visits with children.

A number of volunteers were on hand from area high schools to make the event possible.

Emily Spain, 16, of Tinley Park, was motivated to help out and make sure that the children could have a good start to their holiday season.

“I wanted to come back to see the teachers, see the school, and give back to the community,” said Spain, who was helping to run a craft station set up for children to make reindeer ornaments.

“They enjoy it, [and later, they will] put it on their Christmas tree,” Spain said.

Throughout the event, the school’s book fair was open to children and their families to drop in and browse the selection.

Elsewhere in the building, people enjoyed concessions.

A food drive was active during Santa’s Workshop to help support a local food pantry, too.

Proceeds generated during Santa’s Workshop will go toward supporting anything from field trips and Scholastic news to teacher’s wish lists.

Typically, a little more than $2,000 is raised by the annual event.

“It helps a lot of different ways,” Wurster said.


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